This article is sponsored by Tourism NT
The Northern Territory is a veritable treasure trove of natural wonders, with plunging gorges, stadium-sized canyons, burnt orange desert, bustling fauna-abundant natural parks and white sand beaches that seem to go on forever.
But it’s also home to some of the weirdest, wackiest and most unusual things to do and see in Australia. An abundance of wide open space occupied by just one per cent of Australia’s population has created some quirky sights and sounds that are unique to the NT.
Crocosaurus Cove Cage of Death
The Cage of Death doesn’t exactly sound like a walk in the park, does it? The Northern Territory’s unique spin on diving with sharks, the Cage of Death involves climbing into a clear glass capsule and being lowered into crocodile-invested waters to hang with the beast in its natural habitat.
Expect the sound of blood pumping in your ears as the five-metre long reptile eyes you hungrily. It could be the closest you’ve ever come to death – sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Find out more – Crocosaurus Cove
Helicopter pub crawl
Dragging your tipsy mates from pub to pub in broad daylight is basically an Australian rite of passage for 20-somethings, but have you ever done a pub crawl in the air?
Airborne Solutions offer a helicopter pub crawl tour, with sprawling vistas that are enough to make your head spin before you’ve even sipped your first beer. The Heli Pub Crawl is best enjoyed with a group of three or more, where you’re flown to up to five unique pubs through the Top End to enjoy a cold one with the locals.
Find out more – Heli Pub Crawl
The Camel Races
They’re not exactly cordial – imagine 20 ill-tempered, spitting, biting camels stomping red dust and deciding whether to co-operate. People bet on whether they’ll move at all when the gun sounds, with many camels just sitting back down much to the delight and dismay of the crowd. If they do move, the dopey beasts are surprisingly nimble on the track, and no liberties are taken with the organisation of the spectacle, with fully-suited camel jockies riding beasts with humorous names like ‘Camel-kazie’.
The major prize during the Alice Springs carnival is the Afghanistan Cup, presented by Afghanistan’s ambassador to commemorate the Afghans who originally brought camels to Australia and constructed telegraph lines and railways.
Find out more – Camel Cup
Segway the Savannah
Tour the stringy bark Savannah on your very own DTV, a two-wheeled vertical vehicle similar to a city segway – but with a heavy duty outback twist.
You can cruise across multiple landscapes, including sand and puddles, and learn about the local flora and fauna from your guide while dodging the odd wild wallaby and buffalo. DTVs require a level of dexterity and fitness not dissimilar to snowboarding, but a short training course is provided before you get going.
Find out more – Wildman Wilderness Lodge
The world’s only land regatta
Only Australians would host a land regatta in one of the driest country towns in Australia. Known as the Henley-on-Todd Regatta (sounding suitably British), it consists of a medley of land-based ‘boat races’ on the bone-dry Todd River bed.
The race is a patchwork of DIY dinghies, makeshift pirate ships and any other sort of flotation device that is about as far from the water as possible, ploughing along a dirt track that receives about 11 inches of rain a year. The race has been running since 1962, which ironically makes it one of the oldest regattas in the country.
Find out more - Henly-on-Todd Regatta
The country’s most remote set of traffic lights
There isn’t another set of traffic lights for 500 kilometres, so it’s not exactly a busy thoroughfare but the tiny town of Daly Waters (population 23 people) proudly hold the country’s most pointless set of traffic lights.
Come down from the excitement of the spectacle by heading along to the territory’s oldest pub for a tipple, the Daly Waters Pub, known for their delicious damper.
Find out more – Daly Waters Pub
This article is sponsored by Tourism NT